Free EMR Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on EMR, Meaningful Use, ARRA and Healthcare IT sent straight to your email? Join thousands of healthcare pros who subscribe to EMR and EHR for FREE!

Is ICSA Labs Getting Out of the EHR Certification Business?

Posted on April 18, 2017 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I got the following email that was received by ICSA customers:

Dear Valued Customer:

Your organization has received product testing and certification services as a customer of ICSA Labs, a division of MCI Communications Services, Inc., d/b/a Verizon Business Services (“ICSA Labs”).

I am writing to inform you that ICSA Labs will no longer be accepting new engagements for product testing and certification, or renewing expiring Statement(s) of Service. However, please be assured that we will continue to honor any existing, active Statements of Service that we may have with your organization, and to maintain any current certifications for the applicable term.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any questions, please contact icsalabsinfo@icsalabs.com.

Sincerely,

George Japak
ICSA Labs, Managing Director

Does this mean ICSA is withdrawing as an EHR Certifying body (ATCB)? I asked EHR certification expert, Jim Tate, which EHR certifying bodies remain if ICSA is pulling out and he said that right now Drummond, ICSA, InfoGard, and SLI are authorized to test and only Drummond, ICSA, and InfoGard are authorized to certify. You can find more details on the ONC website.

A part of me isn’t really surprised since the EHR certification business isn’t a great business. There are a limited number of clients and a limited amount of revenue available. Plus, under meaningful use, EHR certification became a commodity. That’s why CCHIT couldn’t survive. Seems like ICSA Labs is heading the same direction as CCHIT.

The bigger question I would ask is should EHR certification continue at all?

329 Certified EHR Companies and More Being Added

Posted on February 4, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I’m not sure how many of you find it interest, but I know I have at least a reasonable number of EHR vendors out there that read this site. Plus, the number of available certified EHR vendors should be interesting to anyone that participates in the industry.

The EMR Daily News recently did a post breaking down the official ONC CHPL list of certified EHR vendors. Here’s my general summary of the numbers:
Total EHR Certifications: 329
Certified Ambulatory EHR: 234
Certified In Patient EHR: 95

I just checked the list myself and found 350 total EHR vendors, 250 ambulatory certified EHR, and 100 Certified In Patient EHR. Although, since those numbers are so round, I’m going to assume that EMR Daily News did a better job looking at the list. I just went off the numbers that the website provided.

Either way, 329 EHR companies is a lot of companies. Granted, that’s not 329 full comprehensive EHR vendors, but the majority of them are or will be. Is there any wonder that there’s such a thirst for tools to help people narrow down the EHR vendor selection process?

EMR Daily news also broke down which ONC-ATCB companies are certifying the 329 EHR vendors:
CCHIT: 54%
Drummond Group: 35%
InfoGard: 11%

I know that SLI is talking to a lot of EHR vendors and I imagine the Verizon associated ATCB is too. Of course, this says to me that there’s still a lot of EHR vendors that are going to be added to this list.

I talked to one industry person about the number of EHR vendors and they said they had 600 on their EHR vendor list. From the looks of this, they might not be all that far off with that number.

Getting Your CMS EHR Certification ID Number

Posted on January 19, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Drummond Group has updated their FAQ with an interesting question about how to obtain a CMS EHR certification ID and the difference between the CMS EHR certification ID and the ONC EHR Certification ID that Drummond Group issues.

Q: How do I obtain a CMS EHR Certification ID? Is it the same as my ONC EHR Certification ID I received from Drummond Group?

A: The unique ONC EHR Certification ID issued by Drummond Group is associated with the CMS EHR Certification ID but distinct from it. The ONC EHR Certification ID is one of the “inputs” into the calculation and creation of the CMS EHR Certification ID. However, it is ultimately the CMS EHR Certification ID number which EPs and hospitals will use for the incentive payments.

The ONC Certified Health Product Listing functionality was updated December 24, 2010 and it now has the addition of a shopping cart to create CMS EHR Certification ID number. Users can obtain the CMS EHR Certification ID number by following these steps:

1. Go the ONC CHPL website: http://onc-chpl.force.com/ehrcert

2. Following the instructions on the site, search for the certified EHR products. There are many ways to search, but one option is to search by the ONC EHR Certification ID assigned to the vendor.

3. When the EHR product(s) is found, select the link on its row called “Add to Cart”. There is a shopping cart icon next to it.

4. When all EHR products used by the EP or hospital have been added to the cart, select the “View Cart” link at the top right which also has a shopping cart icon next to it.

5. Now in the Certification Cart section, verify the products in the cart are correct. Then, select the “Get CMS EHR Certification ID” button in the top right corner to request a CMS EHR Certification ID. However, the button will not be activated until the items in your cart meet 100% of the required criteria. If your EHR product(s) do not meet 100% of the Meaningful Use incentives, then a CMS EHR Certification ID number can not be issued.

6. Finally, you will see the CMS EHR Certification ID. It is typically a 15 digit string made up alphanumeric characters.

Interesting that the CHPL website has been redesigned to be able to know which EHR are certified to which module and knows if you’ve reached a 100% certified set of software.

Looks like it also pays off to have a number for your EHR product name so that you’re listed first on the CHPL site.

Two More ONC-ATCB EHR Certification Bodies

Posted on December 10, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Today, HHS announced two more organizations that have been approved as ONC-ATCB for EHR certification:
SLI Global Solutions – Denver CO
Date of authorization: December 10, 2010.
Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.

ICSA Labs – Mechanicsburg PA
Date of authorization: December 10, 2010.
Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.

I’ve actually met with both of these organization. I met with SLI Global Solutions in Denver when I was attending AAFP. I wrote this blog post about SLI Global Solutions as an ONC-ATCB EHR Certification body after my visit with them. I’ll be getting more information from them which I’ll post on this or EMR and HIPAA as I get it.

ICSA Labs is an Independent Division of Verizon Business. I met with the CMO of Verizon at last year’s HIMSS where he told me that ICSA labs would become a certifying body (sorry I can’t find the post right now).

Both are very legitimate organizations with some definite interest and expertise in the healthcare space. For example, Verizon is making a big play with their Verizon HIE product offering.

I’ll see about getting more details on each of these new EHR certifying bodies so that we can see how they compare against the other ONC-ATCB. 5 EHR Certifying bodies. That’s probably enough to keep it competitive.

ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown by EHR Vendor

Posted on December 4, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is the third post in the series of posts(see the previous ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown and ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown by Certifying Body) looking at the EHR certification numbers put together by HITECH Answers. The following is a list of Certified EHR products by vendor:

Top 3 Vendors by number of Products Certified
– Cerner Corporation – 13 products
– Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc – 9 products
– Epic Systems Corporation – 4 products

I guess these are the EHR software you want to avoid. Ok, that’s partially facetious. Just, can you imagine trying to battle the other 12 certified EHR to get support. Granted, most of them are likely hospital EHR and so there are usually support contracts in place to deal with this kind of thing. Don’t worry though, Allscripts should be on this list soon. I think they have something like 7 EHR software for just ambulatory right now. I guess that’s the nature of acquisitions.

It will be interesting to continue to see this evolve.

ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown by Certifying Body

Posted on December 3, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

This is the second post in the series of posts (see the previous ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown) looking at the EHR certification numbers put together by HITECH Answers. The following is the breakdown of EHR Certification by Certifying body:

2 Certified by Infogard
– 1 Modular Ambulatory system
– 1 Modular Inpatient system
40 Certified by Drummond
– 15 Complete Ambulatory systems
– 5 Complete Inpatient systems
– 15 Modular Ambulatory systems
– 5 Modular Inpatient systems
88 Certified by CCHIT
– 50 Complete Ambulatory systems
– 15 Complete Inpatient systems
– 11 Modular Ambulatory systems
– 12 Modular Inpatient systems

Infogard is just getting started, but CCHIT and Drummond Group are cranking them out. I’m guessing right now demand for their service is strong and they can certify them as quick as they can. It will be interesting to see what happens to these organizations post EMR Stimulus money, but they have a few years before they have to worry about that.

Of course, this is only the temporary ONC EHR Certification. ONC will have the official one and then all the EMR vendors will likely have to re-certify again. Let’s call it the EHR certifying body stimulus program.

ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Breakdown

Posted on December 2, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Many people were worried that we wouldn’t have many certified EHR available for 2011. I wasn’t one of those people, but they were out there. Seems to me that this really won’t be an issue at all. There’s 130 partial or complete EHR companies on the official ONC certified EHR list. That’s a lot of software and it’s only the beginning of December. I expect we’ll have 200 or so more ONC-ATCB certified EHR software by the first quarter of 2011.

The good people at HITECH Answers have done the hard work putting together the number of systems certified. Check out the numbers:
85 Complete EHR
– 65 Ambulatory systems
– 20 Inpatient systems
45 Modular EHR
– 27 Ambulatory systems
– 18 Inpatient systems

That’s right. 65 Complete Certified Ambulatory EHR. 27 other modular certified EHR and I’m sure that many of those are just doing the modular as a stepping stone to the full certification.

Official ONC-ATCB Certified EHR List

Posted on November 4, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

ONC and HHS have finally released the official list of ONC-ATCB Certified EHR which is essential to those providers interested in the ARRA EMR stimulus money. Of course, ONC is just providing the data that Drummond Group, CCHIT and other ONC-ATCB bodies (assuming more will start certifying) are providing them. I mentioned that we could look forward to this official list in my Drummond Group ONC-ATCB EHR Certifications post and my CCHIT ONC-ATCB EHR certifications post.

Looks like quite a few more EMR vendors are now ONC-ATCB certified since those first posts. Watch for many many more (almost all) of the EMR vendors to be certified by the end of the year or early 2011.

Looks like ONC is working on a version 2 of the list. Here’s their description of the next version of the ONC-ATCB Certified EHR list:

Please note: This is Version 1.0 of the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL). Version 2.0 is under development and is expected to provide additional information, such as a list of the Clinical Quality Measures to which a given product was tested; and additional functionality, such as different ways to query and sort the data for viewing. The later version will also provide the above-mentioned reporting number that will be accepted by CMS for purposes of attestation under the EHR (“meaningful use”) incentives programs.

That number is going to be key next year for those wanting stimulus money. I’m glad they’re making access to the reporting number needed for attestation for EHR incentives easy to find.

Only problem with the above list is that it hasn’t been updates since Nov. 1. I wonder how often they’ll update it. Although, it probably won’t matter much in the long run.

ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Now Available

Posted on October 4, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In case you missed the announcements on Thursday and Friday, Drummond Group announced the first ONC-ATCB certified EHR (3 of them) and CCHIT announced their first set of ONC-ATCB certified EHR (21 full ONC-ATCB EHR). I also got word today that HHS finally updated their website with the Drummond Group ONC-ATCB.

Of course, we have a few hundred more EHR software out there that are going to be announced. It’s just a matter of how quickly the ONC-ATCB are going to be able to pump out the certifications. Not to mention the EMR vendors completing the list of requirements.

As one EMR vendor told me this weekend. We could have easily rolled out the features that the EHR certification requires to become certified. However, that wouldn’t have been very useful for our users. Then, he went on to say that he’d rather spend an extra month or two to make the certified EHR requirements part of a really nice and useful dashboard than to just roll out some shoddy features that satisfy the EHR certification requirements, but don’t make sense to doctors.

Makes you wonder about these first EHR vendors that have been certified. Just because the EMR is an official ONC-ATCB doesn’t mean you will actually want to use that EMR software.

InfoGard Laboratories to Start Certifying EHR Vendors as an ONC-ATCB

Posted on September 20, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

InfoGard Laboratories, the nation’s first accredited IT security testing laboratory, is approved by the Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT as an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) for the certification of Complete EHRs and EHR Modules for both ambulatory and inpatient settings. –Source

And now there are three official ONC-ATCB for EMR vendors looking to get their EHR software certified. Looks like InfoGard has been doing NIST certifications for a long time now and EHR certification will just be another certification for them.

Info Gard will be the third officially approved ONC-ATCB alongside Drummond Group and CCHIT which were announced previously. There’s also been rumors that Weno Healthcare is trying to become an ONC-ATCB as well.

Maybe I’m just missing it, but I wasn’t able to find other details on InfoGard’s EHR certification plans, pricing, and timeline. If someone else finds it, please let me know. It’s a little disappointing that their press release didn’t include a link to this type of information like Drummond Group and CCHIT did.